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HomeDelhiNo Mann-Kejriwal meeting; gaffe over names: Officials | Latest News Delhi

No Mann-Kejriwal meeting; gaffe over names: Officials | Latest News Delhi

A meeting between chief minister Arvind Kejriwal — currently lodged in Tihar jail — and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, which was originally proposed to be held inside the prison complex on Wednesday, has been postponed, officials aware of the matter said, citing security concerns as the two prospective leaders visitors have Z-plus security.

Punjab chief minister and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann (PTI)

While Singh said that the meeting was not held despite jail officials issuing a token for entry, officials said that the visit was called off at the last minute because of a gaffe in the names under which the appointment was booked.

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The Tihar director general (DG) will now meet the Punjab Police additional director general of police (ADGP) on Friday for an advance security liaison (ASL) meeting to make the security arrangements for a meeting between the Aam Aadmi Party leaders.

Kejriwal, the AAP national convener, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with a money laundering probe pertaining to alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy 2021-22.

Kejriwal, who has denied all charges, is currently lodged in jail No 2 in the Tihar complex.

Every prisoner in Delhi’s jails is entitled to submit the names of 10 people who can visit them twice a week — with the caveat that only three visitors are allowed at a time. The names of these people must be submitted to the jail superintendent for verification.

Mann’s name was added to the list of visitors after a senior Punjab Police officer wrote to the Tihar DG last week at the Punjab chief minister’s request.

After the meeting was cancelled, a mid-level prison official pointed to a name gaffe for the last-minute reversal.

‘B Mann’ and ‘S Singh’

“Any person included in the list of visitors can call up the jail’s helpline and book his/her appointment with the inmate. The Aam Aadmi Party leaders also booked their appointment through the helpline and got a token… The officials at the helpline did not notice anything because the jail officers had recorded the names of visitors as B Mann (Bhagwant Mann) and S Singh (Sanjay Singh). There are thousands of people who come to the prison every day to meet their jailed relatives. The junior jail staff at the helpline may not have realised that the visitors were an MP and a chief minister with Z-plus security. There is a security protocol to be followed, so the meeting was postponed for security reasons today,” the officer said, asking not to be named.

Meanwhile, Singh accused jail authorities of violating Kejriwal’s rights.

“It is funny that a chief minister and an MP from Delhi were first allotted a token for the meeting, and then it was cancelled. The jail authorities are working under pressure from the Centre,” he said at a press conference.

“CM had sent a message urging all MLAs to visit their constituencies, meet people and solve their problems… For this an inquiry has been ordered. They are now threatening that even the other meetings with family and lawyers will be cancelled. How will he fight the case if he does not speak to his counsel? There are also around 10 police personnel around Kejriwal when he meets his lawyers. Isn’t this a violation of his rights?” he added.

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